The Canadian company Recreational Barrel Works has expanded their equipment list for 2021. They started off a few years back by selling those blue canoe barrels you see everyone using. The company then expanded by creating a solid harness system to carry the barrels and an assortment of barrel organizers (barrel bucket, barrel cooler, barrel pocket organizer, barrel pouch, barrel kitchen organizer). Now they’ve added two canoe tripping packs to their lineup.
Expedition Canoe Pack
This pack is perfect for the experienced canoe tripper who heads out for multi-day wilderness excursions. It’s a large volume pack (105-125 litres) made out of solid material (1000D Denier Nylon). The base of the pack is doubled layered for extra durability and the handles, shoulder strap and hip belt have been reinforced. There’s also a top cuff under the lid for extra volume (I really like that add-on), with daisy chains attached for you to dangle a water bottle or map case. An extra bonus to the top lid pocket is the robust zipper that opens easily, even under tension.
You’ll love the harness system on every portage. The shoulder straps and hip belt come with extra comfy padding. Yellow adjustment straps are easy to see on the hip belt and shoulder straps. There is an adjustable sternum strap and a foam pad along the entire length of the back of the pack. Side compression straps help reduce the bulk of the pack and bottom pockets provide extra storage for things you’ll want to get to quickly; like bug repellent or sunscreen.
There’s also a grand total of five padded handles (front, back and sides) so you can easily lift the pack in and out of the canoe with ease. I love that part.
The Expedition Canoe Pack comes with an optional tumpline. Some paddlers love a tumpline and some despise it. I wouldn’t go across a portage without one.
The pack isn’t waterproof, so you’ll need some type of waterproof system. I use a pack liner to keep everything dry inside. Recreational Barrel Works has one on their gear list as well.
Price tag: $175
Check out my review video:
Tripper Canoe Pack
The Tripper Pack is a downsized version of the Expedition Pack. It has all the important add-ons: comfy padded shoulder straps; adjustable sternum strap; those five handles for easy lifting; the top cuff which gives you more room to stuff gear under the lid; double layered bottom; daisy chains to hang stuff on; reinforced handles, shoulder strap and hip belts; and an optional tumpline.
The only differences is that the the webbed hip belt is removable and the volume is smaller (70-96 litres). It’s basically a smaller and more simplified Expedition Pack. And it only comes in red where you can choose between red or green with the Expedition Pack.
Price tag: $125
Check out my review video: